Our All Electric Off-Grid Kitchen
We’ve been living off-grid as nomads for over 10 years now and to say we’ve learned a lot would be an understatement. Our traveling homes have gone from glamping in our gold 1985 Volkswagon Vanagon (back when Jason’s hair was longer than mine), to four different RV’s to now living in one of the most remote areas of the south pacific aboard our catamaran.
As our homes have evolved, so have our skills for managing resources. And, the area where most of our resources are consumed…is in the kitchen. It’s where most of our water and power get used up and we spend a fair chunk of our time each day in and around the galley (because that’s what a kitchen on a boat is called).
The galley is our communal center point. We love food, we love to cook and we love making an event out of it. We can make a whole day revolve around what eventually ends up on the dinner table. Spearfishing, foraging…a trip to the outdoor market, it’s all part of the adventure.
We spend so much time in the galley both on and off camera yet, we haven’t given you a tour or talked much about our appliances (which many of you have asked about frequently). So, without further ado, here is a full tour (with all major appliances explained) of our off-grid, all-electric, floating kitchen.
Being that this is an off-grid home (as are all vessels when they aren’t plugged into shore power) it’s important to first note where our resources come from.
Of course, we have a whole section here on our site dedicated to all things off-grid for more details on our current or past setups: gonewiththewynns.com/living-off-grid-rv-sailboat
Water is obviously a necessary resource. We have two videos/posts fully covering how we get water and how we purify it for drinking/cooking.
- How We Get Water: gonewiththewynns.com/boat-life-get-water
- How We Purify Water: gonewiththewynns.com/boat-life-squeaky-clean-water
Right now, our main source of water is rain capture. Which, if you watched the video, you’ll see is a high tech bucket and flipper combo. We also have a small tarp system we use on the deck when our tanks are low.
Typically we use our Reverse Osmosis water maker to turn seawater into drinking water. Unfortunately, it is a high powered 40 gallon per hour system that requires a generator to run. Our generator has been out of commission for a while now which means we can’t power our water maker. Both the gene and water maker were already part of our boat when we purchased it. In the near future, we will upgrade to a 12v watermaker that we can run off of our lithium batteries.
For now, we capture rainwater and are thankful it’s the rainy season.
Electricity – Lithium Powered, Solar Charged
Our #1 recommended upgrade on any off-grid home is Lithium Batteries.
Batteries supply our power for everything and are the heart of all of our electrical needs in the kitchen and throughout the vessel. The absolute best battery option available is lithium.
We have four Relion 12V 300AH batteries for a total of 1200AH. They have been going strong now for almost five years.
Discount! Relion is offering 5% off to all GWTW Fans! Just click the link and it will be automatically applied at checkout.
Because we are sailing in the (mostly) sunny tropics, solar power is our most efficient way to recharge our batteries. We have 1400 Watts of solar.
- 6 x 100-watt Flexible Solar
- 5 x 160-watt Rigid Panels on our Solar Arch
The original fridge/freezer built by Leopard died a couple of years ago. We will eventually rip them out and replace them with a built-in compressor-style fridge (what I call residential style) like the ones our friends on s/v Holiday installed from Isotherm: Isotherm CR130 Drink Fridge, and the CR90F Freezer.
For now, we have 2 different portable 12v fridge/freezers on board. Both can be used as either a fridge or freezer. So, we use one as a freezer and one as a fridge.
Over the years, the Snomaster has performed best. Because it’s our best performer, it is our freezer. It also has the best overall design, insulation and durability. There are a range of sizes to choose from and all the specs are listed on their website. We have the Classic Series 60L.
- Snomaster is offering a 7% discount for all GWTW fans! Just use discount code: WYNNS at checkout.
A few specs:
- Stainless steel cabinet, hinges, locks and handles
- Power Consumption: 66 watt
- 12/24 V DC 120 V AC
- Temp Range 50F to -8F, 10c to -22c
- Battery Monitor & Rundown protection
- 5 Year Compressor Warranty
Our Fridge is a domestic CFX 50 and while it doesn’t perform as well as our Snowmaster it has held up surprisingly well and is a fantastic backup to have onboard.
A few specs:
- Great space – Holds 72 12-oz. cans – 50L/53 qt./1.8 cu. ft
- Temp Range -8F to +50F (-22C to +10C)
- 120-volt AC, 12-volt DC or 24-volt DC power
- Battery Run Down Protection
Stove Top – Induction
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop: https://amzn.to/39qchsA
Why Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking is all-around better than any electric, gas, or propane stove I have ever tried.
This technology has been around for decades but it’s just now starting to gain popularity. Which is fantastic because that means prices have gone down and selection has gone up.
- Most Energy Efficient – Induction is very energy-efficient, way more efficient than gas or electric burners.
- Less Heat – No heat is lost between the cooking surface and the pot keeping the kitchen cooler.
- Faster Cooking – Because no heat is lost, induction cooktops will bring water to a boil in half the time of a gas stove.
- Better Control – No guesswork needed, with exact temperature settings, you can cook at steady temps.
- Much Safer Than Gas Cooking – The primary dangers of gas stoves are carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks and toxin exposure. Now bring a sailboat into the mix. Gas is denser than air, so if it leaks, it will make its way to the lowest point…the bilges. Where it will stay until it is cleared out or something ignites it, which is scary to think about.
- Induction cooking does require special pans. You’ll need cast iron, magnetic stainless steel or essentially any pan that a magnet will stick to. Copper, aluminum, glass, and non-magnetic stainless steel (including 18/10 and 18/8) cookware won’t work.
- Tiny learning curve. Because this is such an incredibly efficient way to cook, I find using lower temp settings than what you would for gas or electric helps make the transition easier
WHY A PORTABLE, SINGLE BURNER IS BEST
Single induction burners are very efficient because they can use all the power (typically around 1,800 watts). Dual burners share those same 1,800 watts between two burners (if you are using both at the same time, which would be the idea). So, boiling water on one burner while trying to simmer something on another could prove challenging and not as efficient. Plus, the smaller size of the single unit makes it easier to use in small spaces and store away.
Also, keep in mind that most circuits are 15 or 20 amps and will max out at 1,800 or 2,400 watts. In other words, if you have two high draw devices like this (anything that cooks or heats) plugged into two separate outlets that are on the same 20 amp circuit, you’ll risk tripping the circuit breaker or blowing a fuse. Having two separate devices means you can spread the load on different lines. Also, makes sharing your workspace easier if you can spread the chefs out.
The Best Oven
Breville Smart Oven: https://amzn.to/2YpQ0VC
Probably the best toaster oven on the market! This small toaster oven is superior to most any full-size oven. It is small enough (15 x 17 x 10) to fit in our tiny galley but large enough to bake a 12-inch pizza, toast four slices of bread, or even roast a chicken (if you’re into that sorta thing).
I love its intuitive dials, nonstick interior, and black enamel pans it comes with. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
GRILL & GRIDDLE
Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe: https://amzn.to/2BFv7wO
I fry eggs on it and make toast in the mornings. I grill up fish, make panini’s, french fries, tortillas, and well, anything that needs grilling or griddling.
I don’t have a lot of pots and pans and I don’t need them with this grill. It serves so many purposes and fills so many of my searing/grilling/cooking needs.
Like many of my kitchen faves, it fits the following criteria.
- Heat’s up fast.
- Provides even cooking and steady temps.
- Clean up is easy.
- Doesn’t break the bank
Oster Expressbake: https://amzn.to/3pyE3Zp
We’ve had this breadmaker for almost a decade and nothing beats freshly baked bread. And, a breadmaker makes it all ridiculously easy. In less than 5 minutes I can toss in a few ingredients, set it and walk away. A bread machine works great and will turn anyone into a rock star baker.
Don’t waste the cash or counter space on the bulkier machines with all the extra buttons, settings and gizmos. This simple machine is reliable and still has plenty of options and settings. There is a dough only setting we use for pizza, cinnamon rolls, buns…the list goes on.
Plus, as full-time travelers, we don’t carry much in the way of thank you gifts. When someone invites us over for dinner or helps us out in some way, we like to say thanks with a fresh, warm loaf of bread!
Homemade yogurt is so incredibly easy to make and the benefits of yummy pro-biotic-infused yogurt are undeniable. It’s incredibly good for your gut, your wallet, and the biggest kicker for us travelers…. availability. Some remote islands don’t have fresh produce, much less yogurt. We store a year’s worth of cultures in a small container in our freezer. We use fresh milk on the rare occasion we are in a country that has it. Otherwise, we use box milk (UHT). We make a fresh batch every week. This is why a yogurt maker is a must-have on our boat. We have the Dash because that’s what we could get but there are other options out there all similarly priced. It works just fine. If you have an instant pot, that also works.
- Yogurt Starters: https://amzn.to/3coM6Eo
- Dash Yogurt Maker:https://amzn.to/2PvGnia
- Other Yogurt Makers: https://amzn.to/36pncAZ
We consume a lot of smoothies but of course, there are lots of uses for a good blender. Frozen margaritas, soups, salsa, bean dips, hummus, guacamole, pesto…I could go on. I have the Breville Fresh & Furious and it works great. But one day, I will upgrade to a Vitamix.
- Vitamix 5200 – https://amzn.to/2OR5zyx
- (affordable luxury & best without stepping up to a Vitamix) Breville Fresh & Furious – https://amzn.to/2TKOlK1
I also have a Ninja Masterprep that I use as a food processor. It’s good for the price but doesn’t stand the test of time so I don’t recommend it. They only last 1-2 years and that isn’t worth a place in my kitchen. Nothing worse than cheap construction. I value quality and longevity over quantity.
Coffee & Tea
Afternoon tea, a handcrafted coffee, a fresh-baked cookie…what more could anyone want in life!?! We can think of a few things, but not many.
We had a Bodum Burr Grinder for years and but, it bit the dust in Panama. The only grinder we managed to track down in Panama was a Cuisinart burr grinder. BUT, it’s NOT our top choice (beggars can’t be choosers) and we would not recommend it. Considering Panama is home to the most expensive coffee in the world, you would be shocked how difficult it was to find a good coffee grinder!
- Our (affordable) Dream Grinder: https://amzn.to/2M7NwIV
Ice Cream Maker
Those of you who have been with us for a while know that my love of ice cream runs deep. You also know I am an ice cream snob. I like the good stuff, made with real ingredients, no flavorings or strange unpronounceable chemical additives. Good ice cream is hard to come by and very expensive in the islands. So, this little pint-size ice cream maker has been a worthy addition.
Ups, downs and all arounds, we share it all. We’re able to do so because people like you show up each week, read, watch, comment, share, and toss a tip in our production jar. If you like what you see, there are lots of FREE ways you can show your support.
Consider joining the crew
If you love what you see and can’t imagine not having The Wynn’s creations gracing your digital devices, consider joining the crew. For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you can become a part of our virtual crew, help support the work you see, help us shape the future of our curious creations and get more behind the scenes. Find out more here: patreon.com/the_wynns
🎥 CAMERA GEAR USED TO FILM THIS VIDEO
🎶 MUSIC IN THIS VIDEO:
- Source – Artlist, Get 2 Months FREE: https://bit.ly/artlist-GWTW
Artists – Assaf Ayalon